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25 Apr, 2019 15:13

N. Korea warns of ‘corresponding response’ as Washington & Seoul stage joint war games

N. Korea warns of ‘corresponding response’ as Washington & Seoul stage joint war games

North Korea has warned of a “corresponding response” as it vented anger at the ongoing military drills between the US and South Korea. Pyongyang says such steps simply hamper the reconciliation process.

In a strongly-worded statement issued by the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country on Thursday, Pyongyang blasted the joint air force exercises as “acts of perfidy.”

It added that the maneuvers go against the “trend toward the reconciliation on the peninsula” and threatened the “valuable spark of peace, reconciliation and cooperation” between the two Koreas.

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The committee, which oversees inter-Korean affairs, also warned the South Korean authorities “to behave with discretion,” and said the exercises risked north-south bilateral ties.

It finished by saying that such a “military provocation” would garner a “corresponding response,” noting that authorities in Seoul “can never make a complaint” over whatever actions Pyongyang eventually undertakes.

The two-week joint air force exercises, which kicked off on Monday, had been organized as a more low-key alternative to the annual Max Thunder drills usually conducted by the US and South Korea.

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It follows a call made by Trump following his first summit with Kim Jong-un last June to suspend the “very provocative” war games after an agreement was reached by both parties to back “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.

Since then, several military exercises have been either canceled or scaled-back.

However, the negotiations floundered following a second meeting between the two leaders in Vietnam in late February. Back then, both heads of state walked away without securing a deal amid disagreements over the lifting of sanctions on Pyongyang.

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